Merrylands Railway Station Building | NSW Environment & Heritage

Culture and heritage


Merrylands Railway Station Building

Item details

Name of item: Merrylands Railway Station Building
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Transport - Rail
Category: Railway Platform/ Station
Primary address: Military Road, Merrylands, NSW 2160
Parish: St John
County: Cumberland
Local govt. area: Holroyd


Northwest: 5m from 1940s platform building; Southeast: Edge of Platform 1 to track; Northeast and Southwest: 5 metres from each end of the 1940s platform building.
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
Military RoadMerrylandsHolroydSt JohnCumberlandPrimary Address
Railway TerraceMerrylandsHolroydSt JohnCumberlandAlternate Address


Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
RailCorpState Government 
RailCorpState Government 
RailCorpState Government 

Statement of significance:

Merrylands Railway Station is of local significance for its early associations with the late nineteenth century expansion of the railway network throughout the Western Sydney area, initially serving the area's industry but eventually enabling the subdivision and development of land for residential suburbs. The station has undergone continual modifications since its initial construction and the only remaining significant structure is the 1940s building on the Up platform. The station building demonstrates the railway policy of the period for constructing substantial structures for suburban stations and is evidence of the upgrade of rail station facilities to accommodate growing suburban residential populations. The station building is a good representative example of a number of similar Inter War Stripped Functionalist style railway buildings in NSW and demonstrates the transition in railway architectural styles from the earlier standard Federation-style buildings.
Date significance updated: 12 Mar 09
Note: The State Heritage Inventory provides information about heritage items listed by local and State government agencies. The State Heritage Inventory is continually being updated by local and State agencies as new information becomes available. Read the OEH copyright and disclaimer.


Designer/Maker: NSW Department of Railways
Builder/Maker: NSW Department of Railways
Construction years: 1940-1940
Physical description: BUILDINGS
Station Building - Platform 1, type 13 (1940-44)
Passenger Shelter - Platform 2, (2007-08)

Platforms (c1940)
Footbridge/Overhead walkway (c. 1913 modified 2007)

The station group is located adjacent to the Merrylands town centre slightly north of the junction between Railway Parade and Military Road. The Military Road side of the station contains a modern transport interchange. The station is located on the South Line between Granville and Guildford stations. The rail line runs in a north-east to south-west direction. Platforms are located either side of the rail line with a footbridge over and a pedestrian subway tunnel at the southern end of the station. Recent upgrade works, including a commuter car park and a contemporary glazed canopy have been undertaken on the northwest side of the station.

External: The brick building located on the Up Platform 1 includes awnings and a terracotta tile roof reflecting its Inter War Functionalist design origins. Originally face brick the existing building has recently been painted and the roof features gable ends on the side elevations covered in later FC sheet panels. The eaves are boxed on the south eastern elevation only. A flat roof extends over a portion of the newsagent at the south western end while at the opposite end a partially open flat roof canopy extends over the male bathroom foyer. A cantilevered awning is attached to the south eastern elevation. It extends to the approximate platform edge for the length of the building with a narrower awning extending the remainder of the platform. The section of awning attached to the building is constructed of steel girders, metal fascia and painted corrugated metal roof.

The building includes a portico at the southern end which features the newsagent and ticket window. The newsagent space is a later fitout and includes modern tiles on the ground, rendered and painted walls, and modern suspended ceiling and display units along the walls. The ceiling in the portico features fibro panels with a simple modern cornice and fluorescent lights. The ticket windows are modern steel and toughened glass types, although they have been damaged by fire

The main south east facing elevation, which fronts the platform features numerous window and door openings which are generally constructed of soldier course lintels, while corners of the building and piers feature rounded bricks. The doors have been replaced with plain solid timber types. The windows are mostly original and are timber double hung sash windows with two horizontal panes divided by a fine bar in each sash. Some windows have security grilles installed.

The northwest facing elevation features double hung timber sash windows. A row of smaller high level windows are located at the north eastern end and open to the bathrooms. At the basement level there are three small timber doors to the sub-floor area.

Internal: Internally the building is divided into various spaces which are accessed from the south eastern elevation. Generally the interior of the building features modern plasterboard ceilings with simple modern cornices and fluorescent lights, painted and rendered walls, simple timber skirtings and simple timber architraves. Internal doors are also plain timber types and appear to be later elements. At the south western end of the building is the Station manager’s room with the ticket windows opening to the portico. This area, which is also the location of the timber ticket windows, was burned out in 2008 and is yet to be refurbished in 2009.

Adjacent to the Station Manager’s room is the passenger waiting room which features a painted concrete floor, modern plasterboard ceiling and rendered and painted walls. The female bathrooms are adjacent to the waiting room. The walls are rendered and painted, the ceiling is modern, internal joinery to the stalls including the doors appear to be original, the floor in the foyer is stencilled and painted concrete, there is a timber seat along one wall, the floor of the cubicles area is tiled in small mosaic tiles, larger modern tiles have been applied to the skirting and splashbacks and signage is attached to the walls. At the north eastern end of the building is the male bathroom. It features a later low flat metal roof over the foyer. Walls in this section are not full height but have been enclosed above with later steel frame wire mesh panels. This section is constructed of brick walls with a painted concrete floor. There is a high level window above the urinal on the south eastern wall. The interior features the same materials as the female bathrooms.

A steel framed corrugated metal canopy covers the entire length of Platform 2 connecting the platform with the stairs leading to the overhead walkway. It is a new structure and replaced the original deteriorated timber platform building in 2007-08.

Both straight side platforms are precast concrete units and are topped with asphalt. Modern aluminium palisade fencing, timber bench seating, lighting and signage are located on the platforms.

FOOTBRIDGE/OVERHEAD WALKWAY (c.1913, modified 2007)
At the south western end of the station is the steel footbridge, which connects Platforms 1 and 2 over the rail line. It is a simple, plain steel structure consisting of a tower on each side of the platform, stairs and a bridge between. It features painted steel balustrade with steel posts supporting the corrugated metal awning. This structure matches that of the later awning and fence structures throughout the station. Clear windows are located on the outward facing elevations of the towers and along portions of the walkway. The walkway and steps are concrete. More recent lift towers have been located behind the structure to allow accessibility to the street and platforms. The footbridge may contain remnants of the 1913 taper haunched girder footbridge.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
In 2009 the condition is generally good for all elements except for the burnt out ticketing area in the 1940s station building, which is in need of significant repair and refurbishment.
Date condition updated:03 Feb 09
Modifications and dates: 1880 - Porter’s residence built.
1881 - Goods shed erected.
31 Dec 1890 - Old platform demolished and replaced by two side platforms with waiting sheds.
17 Mar 1891 - Station interlocked and a signal box erected.
22 Jun 1901 - Provision made in the station buildings for postal business.
1914 - Platforms extended and station buildings relocated.
1929 - Signal box renewed.
23 Mar 1937 - Third signal box built at 23.546km.
1940 - Platform 1 Building constructed
1942 - New booking and parcels office added to the down platform building
9 Dec 1959 - Merrylands Road level crossing equipped with half-boom gates and ‘F’ lights.
24 Mar 1969 - Merrylands Road level crossing closed and new over bridge opened at 22.972km.
4 Jun 1972 - Signal box removed.
c.1990 - Concrete decking was installed on the footbridge
2003 - The Liverpool end of the Sydney-bound platform building was modified with the removal of a column in the concession
2005 - 1890 Platform 2 building on the Liverpool-bound platform was removed. With its timber construction and skillion roof design it was one of less than 20 such examples remaining from a total of 450 examples built between 1890 and 1960. It was one of three examples in Sydney.
post 2006 - lifts installed on footbridge.
2007 - The face bricks on the Platform 1 building were painted.

N.d: Platform 1 Building modifications:
- Newsagent at south western end.
- Fitout of newsagent space.
- Painting of ticket window wall.
- Replacement of internal ceilings throughout.
- Replacement of doors throughout.
- Security bars to windows.
- Security mesh and door and metal roof to male bathroom foyer.
- Lightweight partitions forming bathroom and store rooms in station manager’s room.
- Kitchenette in station manager’s room.
- Air conditioning units attached to north western elevation.
N.d: Fencing, balustrade, awning and concrete floor of the walkway on the footbridge added
2017: Bird Proofing, Landscaping improvements, Toilet refurbishments, Lighting LED replacements – All Vandalux and Pole top lights fittings replaced to LED fittings, KOP – Seats and Bins changed in accordance with KOP Catalogue.
Current use: Railway Station
Former use: Nil


Historical notes: Merrylands Station was opened in 1878. It was the fifth station to open along the Parramatta (Granville) to Liverpool section of railway, following Fairfield (1856), Cabramatta (1870), Guildford (1876) and Canley Vale (1878). This section of railway, which would eventually stretch to Goulburn as the Main Southern Line, is a spur from the original Sydney to Parramatta line which eventually opened in 1855 after the private company constructing the line ran into financial problems.

In 1890, one year before the duplication of the rail line, the original platform was demolished and replaced with two platforms, one either side of the line and new waiting sheds were constructed. The timber waiting shed, which was extant on the ‘down’ platform until 2006, was one of these buildings. It was one of the last locations where timber was used for station buildings before the policy in 1912 to erect brick structures in Sydney. The next major addition to the station was the footbridge and extension of the platform in 1913. Some of the station buildings are recorded as being removed and repaired at this time.

In 1940, the Department approved a brick Inter War Stripped Functionalist style building on the Sydney bound platform with construction completed by 1944. Its robust construction reflects the Department of Railways' policy of building substantial structures for the suburban area in the 1930s. This structure was built using State funding and contrasts with the mostly superior quality and larger buildings between Westmead and Seven Hills, which were funded by the Commonwealth during World War II.

In 1970 the level crossing at the southern end of the station was replaced with the existing concrete subway tunnel. In 1996-1997 major upgrade works were undertaken on the platforms including the addition of steel canopies along the length of the platform.

In 2003, the Liverpool end of the Sydney-bound platform building was modified with the removal of a column in the concession and in 2007 the face bricks on the building were painted. The 1912 steel beam footbridge has been severely modified with a canopy and lifts.

There was a signal box situated at the southern end of the up platform, directly adjacent to the Merrylands Road level crossing, though this has been removed.

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Transport-Activities associated with the moving of people and goods from one place to another, and systems for the provision of such movements Making railway journeys-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Towns, suburbs and villages-Activities associated with creating, planning and managing urban functions, landscapes and lifestyles in towns, suburbs and villages Impacts of railways on urban form-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Creative endeavour-Activities associated with the production and performance of literary, artistic, architectural and other imaginative, interpretive or inventive works; and/or associated with the production and expression of cultural phenomena; and/or environments that have inspired such creative activities. Evolution of design in railway engineering and architecture-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
The station is historically significant as evidence of the late nineteenth century expansion of the railway network throughout the Western Sydney area. Initially the station served industry in the area but eventually enabled the subdivision and development of land for residential suburbs. The Platform 1 brick building is evidence of the period of development, refurbishment and upgrade of rail station facilities between 1929 and 1950 to improve stations for the growing suburban residential populations. It also reflects a significant time period in station design policy, which dictated the use of brick and construction of substantial buildings for outer suburban stations.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
The Platform 1 building is aesthetically representative of the station buildings constructed between the wars. Its architectural Inter-War Stripped Functionalist style and use of materials, seen in the originally red face brick, gabled roof, cantilevered awning, soldier brick lintels, and horizontally proportioned windows are also representative of this phase of building, although the paintwork detracts from its original design intention.
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
The place has the potential to contribute to the local community's sense of place, and can provide a connection to the local community's past.
SHR Criteria e)
[Research potential]
The site is unlikely to have any archaeological potential due to the extent of works that have previously occurred to the site. Structures of the type extant on site are well documented and therefore do not have the potential to yield any new information.
SHR Criteria g)
The Platform 1 building is a good and relatively intact representative example of the 'type 13' second island/side platform station buildings constructed between 1929 and 1950. The type is defined by its brick construction, cantilevered awning, the incorporation of all station building functions within the single structure and the use of elements and features of the popular architectural styles of the time. A large proportion of extant station buildings throughout the Sydney region belong to this class.
The footbridge was identified as an item of moderate heritage significance in the comparative analysis from the 2016 ‘Railway Footbridges Heritage Conservation Strategy’.
Integrity/Intactness: Merrylands Railway Station has been heavily altered over time. The original platforms and structures as well as those from the late nineteenth century have been lost with improvements to the station. This has had significant impact on the potential for the station complex to demonstrate various phases of development. The Platform 1 building is relatively intact except for some minor additions to the southern end and alterations to the Station Master's room. However, the recent fire within the ticket office and painting of the exterior has reduced its integrity. The overhead walkway structure has also lost its integrity.
Assessment criteria: Items are assessed against the PDF State Heritage Register (SHR) Criteria to determine the level of significance. Refer to the Listings below for the level of statutory protection.

Recommended management:

1. Conservation principles: Conserve cultural heritage significance and minimise impacts on heritage values and fabric in accordance with the ‘Australia ICOMOS Charter for Places of Cultural Significance’. 2. Specialist advice: Seek advice from a qualified heritage specialist during all phases of a proposed project from feasibility, concept and option planning stage; detailed design; heritage approval and assessment; through to construction and finalisation. 3. Documentation: Prepare a Statement of Heritage Impact (SOHI) to assess, minimise and prevent heritage impacts as part of the assessment and approval phase of a project. Prepare a Conservation Management Plan (CMP) prior to proposing major works (such as new additions, change of use or proposed demolition) at all places of State significance and all complex sites of Local significance. 4. Maintenance and repair: Undertake annual inspections and proactive routine maintenance works to conserve heritage fabric in accordance with the ‘Minimum Standards of Maintenance & Repair’. 5. Movable heritage: Retain in situ and care for historic contents, fixtures, fittings, equipment and objects which contribute to cultural heritage significance. Return or reinstate missing features or relocated items where opportunities arise. 6. Aboriginal, archaeology and natural heritage: Consider all aspects of potential heritage significance as part of assessing and minimising potential impacts, including Aboriginal, archaeology and natural heritage. 7. Unidentified heritage items: Heritage inventory sheets do not describe or capture all contributory heritage items within an identified curtilage (such as minor buildings, structures, archaeology, landscape elements, movable heritage and significant interiors and finishes). Ensure heritage advice is sought on all proposed changes within a curtilage to conserve heritage significance. 8. Recording and register update: Record changes at heritage places through adequate project records and archival photography. Notify all changes to the Section 170 Heritage & Conservation Register administrator upon project completion.


Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Heritage Act - s.170 NSW State agency heritage registerSRA s.170 Register    

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
State Rail Authority Heritage Register Study1999SRA921State Rail AuthorityS. Sharp No
S170 Heritage & Conservation Register Update2009 City Plan Heritage  Yes
Heritage Platforms Conservation Management Strategy2015 Australian Museum Consulting  Yes
Railway Footbridges Heritage Conservation Strategy 2016 NSW Government Architect’s Office Heritage Group  Yes

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
WrittenCity Plan Heritage (CPH)2006Merrylands Railway Station Conservation Management Strategy
WrittenD. Sheedy2002Heritage Impact Statement for Merrylands Railway Station
WrittenForsyth, John New South Wales Railway Stations: An Alphabetical Arrangement of Railway Station and Place Names Excerpts for Stations in the Metro West Region
WrittenSharp, S.A1982The Railway Stations of NSW 1855-1980

Note: internet links may be to web pages, documents or images.

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Data source

The information for this entry comes from the following source:
Name: State Government
Database number: 4801921

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